Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talking Point 9

This article, Schooling Children With Down Syndrome by Christopher Kliewer, talked about why children with disabilities and non-disabilities should join together in classrooms all over the country. Because people stereotype and judge without any knowledge or understanding upon the matter, the people being judged tend to be put at a huge disadvantage from the rest of society. As said on the first page of the article, the challenge is to erase the negative thoughts and attitudes towards people with disabilities so that they can be treated like normal people.
Here are some quotes that I believe were most important in this article:

1.) “[Community] requires a willingness to see people as they are - different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society. It requires the ‘helper’ to have the humility to listen for what the person says he or she needs. Also, the ‘helper’ must see that the interaction ‘helps’ both ways.” (73)
- Don’t you see a connection with the words 'communication' and 'community'? Without proper interaction with the people that surround us, how are we supposed to improve the world in which we live? We have to open our eyes, ears, and hearts so that we can provide the necessary help for a better society. It is our job as citizens of this country to accept difference and use our understanding and knowledge on the different issues so that we can become what we claim to be – a world in which all are created equal and are given equal opportunity.

2.) “You can get a sense of where a kid is compared to where people think they should be when using developmental guidelines.” (77)
- I think it’s a great idea to have guidelines; it is a very critical, important, piece of information regarding a child’s success in class. This way the teacher is able to supply facts and hard evidence that a child really needs extra help in a particular area – so the teacher and student can concentrate more on one subject than another. Or maybe a child may need to be taught a different way or maybe they just need more attention. By providing guidelines, the teacher can form goals for each of the kids which they can try to accomplish throughout the year.

3.) “The presence of a thoughtful mind has been linked to patterns of behavioral and communicative conformity associated with competence in logical-mathematical thinking and linguistic skills.” (79)
- This statement is true. We look at behavior and communication patterns to judge whether someone is smart or have a disability. i guess you can say that our society is pretty prejudice because we pre judge and exclude people who are disabled from the rest of society.

Basically the article points out that communication is key. Just by listening and understanding an individual that is different from us, we are able to learn and become better people. We are given the opportunity of insight. Both parties, disabled and non-disabled, should be able to come together and learn with and from each other. We all have the ability to learn, even if we have a disability.

This video talks about a school that provides general classes to disabled children…

This website provides a lot of information regarding educating children that have down syndrome…